How to Use a Charcoal Barbecue?

A charcoal grill is an outdoor grill that runs on charcoal. Charcoal grills are typically made of metal and have a cylindrical or barrel shape, as well as a lid and a cooking grate. To use a charcoal grill, light the charcoal and allow it to burn until it is covered in white-gray ash, indicating that it is ready for cooking.

Charcoal grills are popular for outdoor cooking because they add a smoky flavor to food and can reach high temperatures. They do, however, require more time and attention than gas grills because you must wait for the charcoal to heat up and monitor the temperature of the Grill throughout the cooking process.

charcoal grill

How to Use a Charcoal Barbecue?

There are a few things you need to understand about utilizing a charcoal barbecue, regardless of your level of grilling expertise or whether you have never considered using one. You will discover the many procedures you must take to utilize your Grill correctly in this post.

Additionally, you’ll discover the several fuels available, the advantages of direct and indirect heat, and how to clean your Grill.

  • Select a secure location for your barbecue. Place the grill on a level, stable surface, away from flammable materials and structures.
  • Assemble the grill in the manner specified by the manufacturer. Before lighting a portable grill, ensure it is properly assembled and stable. Make the charcoal. If you’re using briquettes, arrange them in the center of the grill in a pyramid shape. Spread the lump of charcoal evenly across the bottom of the grill.
  • Start the charcoal. To ignite the charcoal, use a charcoal starter or a chimney starter. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lighting a starter if you’re using one. If you’re using a chimney starter, crumple up some newspaper and stuff it down the chimney. Light the newspaper and fill the chimney with charcoal. Before moving on, wait until the coals are covered with a layer of grey ash.
  • Warm up the grill. When the coals are ready, distribute them evenly across the bottom of the grill. Close the grill lid and place the cooking grate on top of the coals. Preheat the grill for 10-15 minutes or until the temperature reaches the desired level.
  • Prepare your food. While the grill is heating up, season your food as desired.
  • Place the food on the grill. When the grill is hot, place the food on the cooking grate. To turn the food as it cooks, use tongs or a spatula.
  • Keep track of the temperature. To keep track of the temperature of the grill and the food, use a grill thermometer. Adjust the vents on the grill as needed to maintain the desired temperature.
  • Clean the grill. Allow the grill to cool before cleaning it. Remove the cooking grate and clean it with a grill brush. Remove the ashes from the bottom of the grill and wipe them down with a damp cloth.

How to Prepare your Charcoal Grill?

Making sure you have adequate charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal on hand is the first rule of charcoal grilling for both novices and seasoned specialists. Before starting any additional preparations, make sure you have enough supplies to avoid any trouble or disappointment when it comes time to start the fire.

Each kind of charcoal has advantages over the others. Briquettes of charcoal that resemble pillows burn longer and are typically less expensive than lumps. Charcoal with irregularly shaped hardwood lumps ignites more quickly and produces a greater temperature.

Make sure you have lighter fluid, a charcoal starter, and a lighter on hand, depending on the method you use to start the fire. When the coals are ready for grilling, position them with long-handled metal tongs. A strong grill brush is also necessary to clean the grill grate before adding food to cook.

Setting up a charcoal grill for cooking can be a little dirty and dusty. When handling charcoal and removing the grilling grate, wear thick work gloves or grill mitts.

Another crucial aspect of learning how to charcoal Grill has enough time. Plan on burning the embers for 15 to 20 minutes before they are finished cooking.

How to Light a Grill with Charcoal?

Understanding how to utilize a charcoal grill effectively requires a good fire. Take into account the size of your Grill’s cooking area and the quantity of food you are preparing to decide how much charcoal you require. Compared to bigger kettle and barrel barbecues, kamado grills typically have a smaller cooking surface and use less charcoal to cover the grate.

You’ll need about 100 briquettes—the amount that can fit in a conventional charcoal chimney—to Grill over high heat on a typical charcoal grill.

Regardless of the technique you select, start by removing the grilling grate to reveal the charcoal grate that is located lower in the Grill. Take out any ash that remains.

Then let plenty of air reach the flames by opening the grill vents. After lighting the coals, keep the grill lid off until the coals are completely covered in ash and ready to cook, which should take 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Light Chimney Charcoal?

  • Onto the Grill’s lowest grate, set the empty chimney starter.
  • Add charcoal to the chimney. For a smaller grill or less heat, use less.
  • Lighter cubes are placed on the grate after the chimney is removed.
  • Place the chimney on top of the ignited accelerant after lighting it with a utility lighter.
  • As an alternative, light some loosely wadded newspaper and place it under the chimney’s base to start the coal burning.
  • When the charcoal at the top of the chimney has gone grey with ash, carefully pour the hot coals onto the grate.

Utilizing Lighter Fluid

  • Place the charcoal on the grate in a pile or pyramid configuration.
  • For the correct dosages, refer to the lighter fluid instructions.
  • Never miss lighter fluid onto hot embers in a lighted fire.
  • On top of the coals, mist the lighter fluid.
  • Brighten right away.
  • Utilizing an electric starter
  • Place the charcoal briquettes on the charcoal grate in a pile or pyramid form.
  • In the middle of the charcoal pile, place the electric starter’s heating element.
  • Connect the starter to a power source.

To Use Charcoal for Rapid Lighting

  • On the Grill, arrange the charcoal into a pile.
  • No lighter fluid is required because the coals have already been treated with an accelerant.
  • Make use of a utility lighter to light the charcoal.

Cooking Over Charcoal

To achieve consistent temperatures over the cooking surface while grilling with charcoal, a thick, compact layer of lit coals is necessary. Less heat is produced for a shorter period in thin layers.

The outside of the food will be seared and have nice grill marks if you cook it directly over hot embers. In order to cook meat properly, thicker cuts may require more time. Make a two-zone fire to achieve this without causing the food to dry out or become overly burned.

To cook using direct heat, place the lit coals for the hot zone on about half of the charcoal grate. Food should be seared over the embers before moving to a cool region for slower indirect cooking.

  • No matter how the charcoal is arranged, position the cooking grate and close the lid.
  • Make sure the Grill’s dampers or vents are open.
  • Wait for the Grill to heat up for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Utilize a barbecue brush to scrub the grate.
  • Food should be placed on the Grill.

To get good results, the right temperature must be maintained. Utilize the vents at the top and bottom of the Grill to control airflow and temperature.

  • Open the damper next to the fire to raise the temperature.
  • Open the upper damper to reduce the heat.
  • Add more coals if greater heat is required.

How to Compare Direct and Indirect Heat?

Using your charcoal BBQ is usually rather simple. You should keep in mind, though, that grilling involves more than merely cooking meat. The equilibrium between your high and low heat zones must also be established.

Some recipes you may have observed instruct you to begin your dish in a cool zone before transferring it to a hot one. This is a fantastic approach to control your grilling temperatures and will prevent you from overcooking or, on the other hand, overdoing it.

The key to making the most of your charcoal grill is ensuring that the zones for direct and indirect heat are properly arranged. For searing and charring, the direct heat zone is the logical choice.

More delicate items go in the indirect heat zone. To stop fats and liquids from dripping onto the hot embers, it’s a good idea to use a drip pan.

How to Establish a Two-Zone Fire?

When using two-zone charcoal barbecues, you can use direct heat to quickly cook hot dishes and indirect heat to cook items slowly. You can sear a steak on a two-zone barbecue and then move it to a cooler region to continue cooking it. You’ll eliminate the chance that your meat may burn or become overcooked.

A two-zone charcoal barbeque can be set up in a variety of ways. The basic configuration entails putting coals in equal stacks on either side of the lower grill grate. The cool zone is over the side of the Grill with no food on it, while the hot zone is right over the embers. Searing and crisping are perfect uses for the hot zone.

Equivalent stacks of lighted coals placed on the opposing sides of the lower grate form the most basic design for a two-zone charcoal barbeque. This layout is straightforward and efficient. Before placing the first steak, let the grate heat up for a while.

How to Clean the Grill?

A great approach to keep your charcoal grill in good operating order is to keep it clean. Your food will cook more evenly and taste better as a result.

There are various steps involved in grill cleaning. The cooking grate must be taken out first. Cleaning will be simpler as a result. Make sure to grease the grate to avoid rust before you begin.

The interior of the bowl is another area that needs cleaning. This will gather carbon, soot, and burned grease. To remove these accumulations, use a metal brush.

You might wish to empty the ash from your charcoal barbecue into a plastic container if your Grill has an ash catcher underneath the bowl. The ashes from the Grill can then be removed with a garden trowel.

After cleaning the bowl’s interior, use a soft cloth to wipe the outside of the Grill. White vinegar can also be sprayed inside the vehicle to remove the soot and grease.


While using a charcoal grill takes a little more time and attention than using a gas grill, it can be fun and rewarding to cook outdoors. Check that you have everything you need, such as charcoal, a chimney starter or lighter fluid, and long-handled tongs or a spatula for flipping the food.

After each use, clean the grill grates and ash pan to ensure that your Grill is ready for the next time you want to use it. You can enjoy delicious, smoky-flavored food cooked on your charcoal grill if you follow these tips.